Thirteen of the 28 tracks on this broad survey of El Siglo de Oro feature the voice of Guillemette Laurens, familiar from other early-music ensembles, typically alternating with the instrumental works. She is accompanied on organ, harp, vihuela, and percussion, the organ an instrument at Lorris-en-Gâtinais dating to 1501, rebuilt a century later, and restored in 1974. The disc takes its title from an anonymous song that comes, like the rest of the program, from 16th-century Spain. The cover art is El Greco’s only portrait of a woman, currently located in Glasgow.
There is something haunting about the performances. Encina’s Triste España, a lament on the premature death of Don Juan in 1497, fades away toRead more near-silence at the end. Other song forms are the romance, the villancico, and the canción. The total effect of the disc lies in the programming and the performances, both of which are endearing. There are several notes on the music, the organ, and the painting. This sort of disc fills no place in a repertoire-driven collection but becomes something to be treasured for itself.